At issue is the city's proposal to select the Canton rail line as the siding alternative in the relocation of the main switching yard in Downtown Sioux Falls. The city says they need the smaller switching yard to allow railroad crews to move the engine from one end of the train to the other. The city says that the two new bridges at 57th Street and 69th Street make this an attractive site for an alternate siding option for these trains.
They have chosen an area that is totally residential which will impact the quality of lives of thousands of residents. They are choosing to sacrifice the citizens in the Southeast District of Sioux Falls.
In addition, the entire east side of Sioux Falls will be impacted at the intersections of 49th and Southeastern Avenue, 26th Street and Southeastern Avenue and 14th Street and Southeastern Avenue and Cliff Avenue between 14th and 10th Streets. People need to wake up and get involved in this issue or they will certainly be woken up to the sound of the clickity clack of the trains moving on those rail lines, tooting of train horns at all hours of the day and night and the traffic congestion and blockage on the east side corridor of Sioux Falls.
This resident informed me that in talking with Southeast District Councilor Sue Aquilar, she said she wasn't sure the city might have little say in where the tracks are relocated. How can that be possible? If the City Council does not have final approval on this project then who does? This is a city project and the City Council, by Charter, has final authority over all appropriations. This project does not move forward without Council action.
Below is the flyer being distributed to neighbors in the Southeast District of Sioux Falls. Let's hope they all pay attention to what is being proposed for their neighborhood.
You and the Railroad Relocation Project
City Staff will brief the City Council at Carnegie City Hall on the latest developments on Feb. 27, at 4:00 P.M.
On Feb. 27, the public will be able to present their comments at a meeting to be held at the Orpheum Theatre on Phillips Avenue. Meeting time is 6:00 P.M. to 8:00 P.M.
In 2005, the City of Sioux Falls secured an earmark of $40,000,000 with the help of Senators Thune and Johnson. The purpose of this money was to pay for the removal of some of the tracks and the relocations of the switching yard in the downtown area. Once this can be accomplished, the railroads would be able to sell this land to investors in the downtown area.
The City has floated a number of proposals for this relocation project. One of the more recent ones is to move the switching yard to the area between 57th Street and 69th street. This would mean that we would have two tracks in our backyard, a lot of movement and noise at all times of day, and trains parked there for extended periods of time.
This would have a huge impact on the quality of your life and on your property values. While it would affect property owners south of 57th street the most directly, it would also affect property owners north of 57th street because of increased train traffic through this neighborhood. Street crossings would be also blocked more frequently.
I recommend that you read the attached links to learn more about how this project could affect you.